IACHR condemns campaign against experts

Members of the Group of Independent Experts

Members of the Group of Independent Experts

By: Emir Olivares Alonso

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) categorically rejected “the defamation campaign that takes place in Mexico” against the Grupo Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), which works on the Ayotzinapa Case, and against its Executive Secretary, Emilio Alvarez Icaza Longoria [1] –investigated by the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR, its initials in Spanish) for alleged fraud in prejudice of the Mexican State–; trusted in the functionary’s integrity and classified the complaint against him as “unfounded and reckless.”

The IACHR gave its complete support to the members of the GIEI and to the work they have carried out for almost a year, as well as their reports. It reminded that family members of the victims as well as government representatives endorsed the selection of the five experts.

It also gave total support to Alvarez Icaza, denounced before the PGR by José Antonio Ortega Sánchez, president of the Citizen Council for Security and Criminal Justice, [2] for alleged fraud damaging the Federation for almost 2 million dollars, money destined for the investigation of the Ayotzinapa case.

On this point, the IACHR expressed its absolute confidence in Alvarez Icaza’s integrity, because the money was deposited directly in the accounts of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States by means of the secretary of administration and finances. “The IACHR did not administer those resources; so, neither did the executive secretary.”

It emphasized that at the signing of the cooperation agreement with Mexico –adhered to by government authorities and representatives of the victims–, Alvarez Icaza acted in representation of the Secretary General of the OAS.

“The IACHR expresses its consternation and considers inadmissible the opening of a preliminary investigation into the basis for that complaint, which because of not containing any act constituting a crime turns out to be reckless and unfounded,” and expressed confidence in Alvarez Icaza’s innocence because his behavior is known, in relation to the specific theme as well as in relation to his whole term.

The human rights organism stated that the three parties that subscribed to the agreement agreed to the GIEI’s incorporation “for carrying out a technical verification of the actions initiated by the Mexican State” after the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students, beneficiaries of precautionary measures.

It emphasized that the report of the investigation and the GIEI’s first general conclusions, presented on September 6, 2015, pointed to “irregularities, inconsistencies and/or absences in the investigation of the facts by the state authorities. In particular, it questioned ‘the historic truth,’ a version of the facts announced by then head of the PGR, Jesús Murillo Karam, saying that the normalistas had been incinerated in the Cocula garbage dump. As a consequence of the GIEI’s work and recommendations, the Mexican State has pointed out that new lines of investigation have been opened, which represents a significant advance in the search for truth and justice in this case.”

[1] Prior to his appointment as the Executive Secretary of the IACHR, Emilio Alvarez Icaza was a key member of Javier Sicilia’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. He was also president of the Federal District’s Human Rights Commission. http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/media_center/PReleases/2012/092.asp

[2] The Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice has previously been described as an ultra-conservative and pro-military rightwing group. See: http://compamanuel.com/2016/02/04/ayotzinapa-investigators-face-rightwing-smears/

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Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

En español: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2016/03/30/politica/006n1pol

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

 

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